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'Hulk' F/X. 'X2' Thefts.'Smallville,' 'Spidey' and 'Bulletproof Monk': Comics2Film Wrap for April 29th, 2003

HULK

Universal pictures presented a panel on "Hulk" at this weekend'sWonderCon. Occasional Comics2Film contributor Douggary Grant was on hand as CGF/X gurus Paul Giacoppo and Glen McIntosh hosted the session. Here's Douggary'srecap of the panel:

"They opened up the panel by talking a little about the long processthis film took before actually being made. The producer (Gale Anne Hurd) hasbeen trying to get this film made for almost twelve years. She had been waitingfor the right combination of cast, crew, and technology to come together, so shecould make the film the way it needs to be made.

"They spoke about how Ang Lee picked up his life and moved to the BayArea just so he could be directly involved with the lengthy pre and postproduction to insure his vision was carried out. Lee had very strongfeelings of exactly how the Hulk should look and how the film as a whole shouldbe handled. 

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"Giacoppo and McIntosh showed the new trailer which had a bunch ofawesome new scenes: it showed the accident that triggers Banner turning into theHulk, Hulk leaping, Hulk battling tanks, jets, and helicopters, and last but notleast the Hulk dogs (they actually looked pretty cool). 

"The most important thing to note was that the CG imaging of the Hulkwas far improved from the last trailer. I asked and got confirmation that theprevious trailer had included effects scenes that were not 100% finished butthat they felt looked good enough to make it into the trailer. I have read aboutpeople complaining that Hulk looked too much like a game sprite or too 'green.'As far as looking like a video game character I can say its not even close, helooks amazing! 

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"For being too green, that Ang Lee has the Hulk go through severaldifferent types of transformations throughout the film. There are actually atleast three different sizes (ranging from 9ft to 15ft!) and depending on his'mood' the shade of green can change. 

"The panelists said Ang was VERY specific about what color he wanted inwhich scenes and wanted the 'jade green' (the color he is when he swings thetank around) to stay no matter what.

"They spoke about Ang being a long time fan of the comic and helping toput together a style guide that was distributed to everyone working on the film.It was a book containing actual panels taken from the comics. Many artists wererepresented including John Byrne, Sal Buscema (who's scale for the Hulk was theone used in the film, about 5x human mass. They compared it to the Troll in'Lord of the Rings'), and Jack Kirby.

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"There were a lot of test shots shown...test footage of body builders orathletes doing various Hulk-like activities (like smashing faux office furnitureor leaping) they were very careful not to make Hulk look like Superman flyingwhen he took to the skies in one of his trademark 3 mile leaps. 

"They had tons of character studies done so they could make sure hulk asreal as possible. Anatomy experts were asked to make sure that the muscles movedand flexed correctly. To do this right they did extensive studies of every partof the Hulk's body going through its entire range of motion. This footage wasthengone over by experts and corrected where it didn't behave just right. I can'timagine the amount of work that went into just these studies!"

 

X-MEN 2

Mutants all over the country are being hunted by frenetic fans according to awrite-up in USAToday.

X-Fans are reportedly so excited about the upcoming "X2" thatthey're stealing posters from bus stops, including the one right in front of FoxStudios in Los Angeles.

The studio reports almost 200 of the large-size ads promoting the move aremissing from 15 cities. The one-sheet advertisements are said to carry a $40price tag.

Thanks to Movie CityGeek for the lead.

 

SMALLVILLE

Froma press release:

America Online, Warner Bros. Television and The WB Television Network haveteamed up to create new AOL-exclusive original promotional programmingsurrounding The WB's and Warner Bros. Television's hit series"Smallville." This series of two- to four-minute episodic videosegments will focus on Clark Kent's friend Chloe Sullivan (played by AllisonMack) as she investigates suspicious happenings around the town of Smallville.Beginning April 29 and continuing through May 20, a new "ChloeChronicles" video will launch each week on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. (ET),immediately following "Smallville" on The WB. These vignettes, bestviewed through AOL for Broadband, can only be seen on AOL Television at AOLKeyword: Smallville.

The "Chloe Chronicles" video segments will follow the curious Chloeas she tries to solve the mysteries of Smallville--featuring events that arerelated to the show's plot line, including hidden messages and clues to upcomingepisodes. This "companion programming" is designed to give viewersfurther insight into the plot and characters of "Smallville," addingan additional layer to the mythology in each of the weekly episodes.

"We're delighted to team with Warner Bros. Television and The WB tooffer this 'Smallville' content to our members," said Patricia Karpas, VicePresident and General Manager, AOL Television. "This type of high-qualitycompanion programming is at the heart of our mission -- to offer AOL and AOL forBroadband members unique and compelling ways to experience their favoritetelevision shows. This is also an exciting example of how AOL Television canhelp networks tap into and build loyal audiences for their shows."

Added Lisa Gregorian, Senior Vice President, Television, Warner Bros.Marketing Services, "The 'Chloe Chronicles' are a great way for WarnerBros. Television to extend the 'Smallville' experience and to complement theintriguing, compelling stories established by the series' executive producers AlGough and Miles Millar. Our goal is to create companion programming that offersnew and exciting ways to engage the audience, just as music videos did forrecord promotion."

Suzanne Kolb, Executive Vice President, Marketing, The WB, said, "The WBis always looking for new and innovative ways to promote our shows. Thepartnership with Warner Bros. Television and AOL presents a great way toincrease viewer investment in 'Smallville.'"

This project represents the latest collaboration between AOL Television,Warner Bros. Television and The WB supporting "Smallville." Mostrecently, AOL Television celebrated Christopher Reeve's guest appearance on"Smallville" with online companion features that provided addedinsight into Reeve's character--including an exclusive sneak peek of thefictional Time magazine cover and article seen in the show in which Reeve'scharacter was honored as "Man of the Year." The companies also teamedup for a sweepstakes in which the winner would be "drawn in" to anupcoming D.C. Comics "Smallville" comic book. In addition, AOLTelevision offered an exclusive message from villain Lionel Luthor to theresidents of Smallville that couldn't be seen anywhere else.

 

BULLETPROOF MONK

Back in January, "BulletproofMonk" was plagued by pirates who were already distributing the movie on DVDin Hong Kong after the film was captured on videotape at an L.A. screening. Now,TheHollywood Reporter says the sale of legitimate DVDs may be harming themovie.

The film was released in China on almost the exact day that it wasreleased in theaters in the U.S. Overseas distributors fear that the releasewill damage the movie's box office in the same region.

Guangdong Face isdistributing the video, dubbed in the national Chinese language of Putonghua.

 

SPIDER-MAN CLASSIC

Spidey fans in the UK will get to see remastered episodes of the 1967"Spider-Man" animated show on Channel 4 soon, according to today's Variety.

Fox Kids Europe and Buena Vista International Television have renovatedprints of "Classic Spider-Man" from the original 35mm film negatives.

The C4 network has not yet announced an airdate for the restored show. Sonyhas also expressed interest in the show, although they've got an all-newanimated "Spider-Man" due out this year.

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